December 2006, V5#12: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

Don’t forget to ask for family data updates in your end of year holiday mailings. So many of us put off adding family information to our working files because it can be done later. Sometimes this turns into loosing information. Remember to include your new family data in these mailings as well. This can be done as a separate sheet that can be easily discarded for those non-genealogy oriented family members.

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September 2006, V5#9: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

Every Genealogist Needs a Will by Frederick E. Moss, J.D., LL.M
Do you have a current will?  We may not all have extensive property or possessions to dispose of but there are other benefits that can be realized by expressing our desires through a last will and testament.  If you have minor children, you may suggest a more appropriate guardian than a court might appoint in the absence of your direction.  If you nominate an executor you can trust, you may reduce the expenses taken out of your estate by waiving bond and accounting.  These and other measures your attorney may suggest can insure that taxes and other charges are minimized that would otherwise reduce the estate available to your intended beneficiaries.
 Genealogists may have come to appreciate the value of wills as a source of information to future generations.  Lawyers will normally include the basic information declaring the testator’s name and domicile and will address the testator’s wishes for the disposition of his property to named beneficiaries.  Our legal training will not always direct our attention to the information-sharing and preservation opportunity that the drafting of a will provides.

Discuss with your lawyer the possibility of including what I have called a three-generation declaration similar to the following:

 
“I, Joseph Abraham Moss, was born the 23d day of January 1853 in Gordon County, Georgia the son of Johnson Moss and the former Sarah Caroline Love.  I married Charlotte Jane Roberson, the daughter of Thomas Howery Roberson and the former Emaline Lewis, on the 5th day of January 1873 in Crawford County, Arkansas.  Our son, Thomas Johnson Moss was born the 8th day of December 1875 in Crawford County, Arkansas.  Our son, James Monroe Moss was born the 26th day of September 1876 in Crawford County, Arkansas. Our daughter, Sarah Emaline Moss was born the 27th day of September 1878 in Crawford County, Arkansas.  Our daughter, Mary Inez Moss was born the 30th day of March 1880 in Crawford County, Arkansas. . . .”
 
There may be circumstances where it may be inappropriate to go into this level of detail and you should do so only with special care for insuring the accuracy of the information provided.  Although wills become public records when admitted to probate upon the death of the testator, triggering our sensitivities about publishing data on living individuals, the limited distribution these papers normally receive minimizes the risk of abuse.  
 
But if you do chose to do so, to paraphrase Proverbs, the genealogists among your great-grandchildren will rise up and call you blessed. 
From Federation of Genealogical Societies “FGS Delegate Digest”  Volume 13, No. 9, July 2006

November 2005, V4#11: Genealogy Tuesday, Jan 6 2009 

As we look toward the holidays, many genealogists put their genealogical “hobby” on the back burner as they prepare to gather with family and celebrate.  This is exactly the time you should keep genealogy in the forefront!  Don’t be a pest by asking the same questions every time you see someone.  However, it is a great time to re-establish old connections with holiday cards, calls and notes.  Keep your oral history files in mind as everyone sits around and “visits”.

March 2008, V7#3: Computer Tuesday, Dec 30 2008 

In MS Word, some files look different “on the page” in the computer. What causes this?

It’s called page view. Yes, you can set your program to show you the pages in different ways. It’s easy once you know how. Look down the screen to near the start button – where there are several “lines” of gray “stuff” before you see the bottom edge of the document. At the top left of all of this gray are 4 buttons before the side-to-side scroll bar starts. The page view with the dotted line to show page break is called “normal” and it is that far left button (depressed) – the arrow below is pointing to these buttons:
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To see how the other 3 views work, position a file where you can see the page break and just left click each button in turn. Besides normal view, I sometimes like print view which is the third button from the left, as it shows me virtual sheets of paper with the correct margins and page number too. – CAC

March 2005, V4#3: Computer Thursday, Dec 25 2008 

A large number of genealogists are taking advantage of the resources of the internet.  Just because you can find a document or GEDCOM online today doesn’t mean it will be there (or free of charge) tomorrow or 20 years from now.  Because of this, it is a good idea to treat computer print outs for your files/archives to reduce their acid level as much as is comfortable implementing.  Here are a few tips:

  • use acid free paper

  • only print on one side

  • only run the paper through the printer once

  • if you don’t use only acid free paper, you might invest in a second printer that uses only acid free

  • when buying a new printer consider the composition of the ink it uses

  • if possible, take a “junk” print out from the printer and wet it down to test it’s water resistance – if it runs, you need to select another printer for your file copies

  • when making notations on the print outs, make sure to use archival quality ink pens (widely available, if in doubt – head for the scrapbooking section)

  • don’t use paperclips, staples, rubber bands, adhesive (unless archival and absolutely needed), post-it notes, etc.

  • store in acid free folders, etc.

  • keep temperature and humidity steady and comfortable.

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